Sorry for not being here Friday! I missed y'all, but I was away from the computer for the day taking care of some year end appointments and then visiting my grandmother for her 92nd birthday! More on that later!
Today is the day food bloggers the world over will be sharing cookie recipes from the Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap of 2011! I can't honestly remember how I found out about this (probably through Twitter), but this was one of the most fun things I've done through blogging so far. If you are interested in participating next year, sign up for email notifications here. You can also visit the swap's Facebook page.
At first, I was a bit skeptical about receiving cookies from complete strangers, but after all was said and done, I really enjoyed participating in this and plan to participate again next year! Hopefully I'll remember to put my name in next year's boxes!
I received cookies from Jennifer of Somewhere In Between, Brigitt of Cook With B, and Mads of La Petite Pancake. Check out their sites for some delicious cookie recipes!
I sent my cookies to Chelcie of Chelcie's Food Files, Lena of Fit on the Rocks, and Alexis of Lex's Life as a New Wife.
Check out the Frosted Christmas Cookies I made for them!
For the swap, I decided to make a family favorite that my neighbor makes every year at Christmas. She was sweet enough to give me the recipe, and now I get to share it with you!
These cookies are not for the lighthearted or time limited. Boy howdy, that was a process. I had no idea what I was getting myself into. My neighbor makes these cookies for the neighborhood every year and I thought to myself, "I'll give them a shot for the food blogger cookie swap!" Five hours later...
Here is the recipe!
Frosted Christmas Cookies
Prep Time: 45 mins hands-on + 5 hrs hands-off (you have to chill the dough)
Bake Time: 10 minutes
Makes: 70-90 cookies, depending on the size of your cookie cutters
FYI: the 45 minutes hands-on time is my guesstimate for how long it took me to make the dough, refrigerate the dough, clean the bowl, and make the frosting. From start to finish, not including the time you have to chill the dough, these cookies take approximately 2-3 hours to make. Rolling out the dough, cutting out the shapes, baking this volume of cookies, allowing the cookies to cool, and then icing the cookies is very time consuming. It helps a lot if you have someone there helping you cut the cookies out and frost them, but plan on spending several hours hands-on with these cookies. I didn't realize how much time these would take when I started making them, so I just want to give you fair warning!
Frosted Christmas Cookies
recipe courtesy of Mrs. Linda Chapman
For the cookie dough:
6 cups sifted flour
1 teaspoon salt
2 cups butter (1lb) - no substitutes!
2 cups granulated sugar
4 unbeaten eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
For the frosting:
4 egg whites
one half teaspoon cream of tartar
one half teaspoon vanilla extract
5 cups sifted confectioners sugar
for the cookies
- Sift flour and salt together.
- Cream butter until soft.
- Gradually add sugar, creaming after each addition until it is light and fluffy.
- Add eggs and vanilla to butter-sugar mixture and mix well. (May become lumpy but keep mixing until lumps are small.)
- Add flour-salt mixture a little at a time and mix well.
- Cover bowl and refrigerate at least 5 hours.
- Roll out dough to one eighth inch thickness.
- Cut out shapes with cookie cutters, dipping them in flour each time.
- Place on ungreased cookie sheet and bake at 375 degrees for about 10 minutes or until light brown around the edges.
- When cool, frost as described below.
for the frosting:
- Beat egg whites with cream of tartar and vanilla until foamy.
- Gradually beat in the sifted powdered sugar until frosting stands in firm peaks.
- Now gather the family around the table.
- Divide the frosting among 5 custard or teacups.
- Tint 4 of the cups with food coloring- red, blue, green, and yellow. If necessary, use more than one bottle of coloring each because you want bright colors! The 5th cup will be white.
- Place an individual butter spreader or small knife in each cup.
- Give each cookie a complete color “job.” Green Christmas trees then have garlands of all colors with pretty colored ornaments and a yellow star up top. Each star is gaily colored – perhaps striped and maybe has multi-colored tips. Dots and designs of all kinds grace your bells. Santa is complete with white beard and belt., blue eyes, and buttons down the front... Be creative!
I hope you'll participate in the cookie swap next year! Maybe we will get matched up! It certainly is a fun way to celebrate the season.
Do you have a Christmas baking tradition in your family?
What is your favorite thing you receive from friends or neighbors during the holiday season?